Great Britain’s Under-16 Women began their Division B Fiba European Championship preparations at the Maggie Forber tournament in Manchester last month.
The event provided head coach Kenrick Liburd with another opportunity to continue shaping his side after taking part in the Pauline Prior International Challenge in Nottingham last April.
Coach Liburd was able to oversee 20 potential GB selectees at the tournament spread across two teams, who finished first and third, maximising court time for all involved.
With the tournament concluded, the final 16 players will continue preparations at training camp in Nottingham late July and a pair of pre-tournament friendlies against Denmark on home soil August 4-5, before their last stint of practices in Charnwood. Coach Liburd commented on the importance of the preparation phase.
“The goal is to get a good understanding of our group, select a group that can best represent the nation and the get them playing with confidence, belief and effort levels that make us proud,” he said.“The pre-tournament prep is essential as many of our players have limited experience at this level, so we must prepare them quickly.”
With the prep out the way, GB head out to Sofia, Bulgaria August 13th for their first Group B game against Portugal, before taking on Belarus, Albania, Ireland and finally Austria to conclude the group stage.
“Our goals to finish as high as possible,” said coach Liburd. “We feel that we have a group that can be competitive if we can prepare in the right way. It is an experience that is unparalleled, the past shows that most players that get a chance to experience international tournament play, have responded well from the experience.”
GB will no doubt look to improve on last year’s Division B Championship performance where they missed out on the Quarterfinals after a disappointing group stage, ultimately finishing the tournament in 15th place.
“We feel that we have a schedule that is allowing us to get a real understanding of who the top available players are,” added Liburd. “We are looking to do a better job in preparing the group for competitive play and also identify characteristics that are important to compete at the European championships.”
The final 16 players selected are as follows:
|Abbey Whitehouse||Sheffield Hatters|
|Asha Andrews||Sevenoaks Suns|
|Becky Smith||Lancashire Spinners|
|Chenai Mushore||Sevenoaks Suns|
|DJ Casanova||Nottingham Wildcats|
|Ella Doherty||Perth Phoenix/Caledonia Pride|
|Fatmata Jenneh||Newham Youngbloods|
|Isimennie Ozzy Momondu||Southwark Pride|
|Isobel Elizabeth Mae Bunyan||Pontypridd Panthers|
|Joice Leavold||Oaklands College Wolves|
|Molly Lavin||Richmond Knights|
|Neve Marvill||Derby Trailblazers|
|Paige Martin||Hastings High School (USA)|
|Tamara Onadeko||Sevenoaks Suns|
|Katie Januszewska||Derby Trailblaizers|
|Onyinyechi Okoye||Oaklands College Wolves|
The U16 Women’s Fiba Division B European Championships will take place August 15-24 in Sofia, Bulgaria